Council Leader told to enjoy cake before Gateshead declares UDI
Gateshead Council’s new Leader, Martin Gannon, will today be presented with a welcome cake by Leader of the Opposition, Lib Dem Jonathan Wallace, at the authority’s annual meeting.
But the homemade chocolate and banana cake comes with a difference. It has a huge hole in the middle of it representing the gap formed by Gateshead in the middle of a devolved North East.
Cllr Gannon led the attack on the devolution plans for the North East, but the rest of the region is now going ahead with an elected mayor while Gateshead is declaring independence.
The Labour decision in Gateshead will mean Gateshead will have no entitlement to devolved funding for transport, training and economic development. The Council will also be walking away from having a say over how the Tyne and Wear Metro system is run, even though the Metro trains run through the borough.
“Martin Gannon led the failed revolt against the devolution plans,” said Jonathan, who is leading the call for Gateshead to reverse its decision and to join in the North East devolution plans.
“The other 6 councils have ignored his calls and are going ahead. If Martin continues on his current course of action, Gateshead will be isolated, poorer, smothered in bureaucracy and with no influence. Gateshead residents will be forced to pick up the bill for Labour’s war with the government.
“I hope Martin enjoys the cake. After all, if devolution goes ahead without Gateshead, we will not get a slice of the regional funding cake. Devolution without Gateshead will definitely not be a case of having our cake and eating it for residents.”